There are two likely conditions that cause itchy bumps to develop on one’s elbows.

These conditions cannot be cured, but they can be controlled, says Janet Prystowsky, MD.

“If you have itchy bumps on your elbows, it’s likely eczema or psoriasis,” says Dr. Janet Prystowsky, board certified dermatologist in New York, NY, with 30+ years’ experience.



“With eczema, your skin may feel rough and leathery,” says Dr. Prystowsky. “Patches may be inflamed and may ooze and feel scaly.”

Atopic dermatitis is another name for this condition. Though it is more common in kids, it can affect women and men of any age.

Unfortunately, it can be chronic, and the itching can be severe and occur mostly at night for some sufferers.

Though it’s so very tempting to keep scratching the heck out of elbows that are itching due to eczema, this can cause crusting of the area plus oozing. And it won’t look too pretty, either.



“Psoriasis patches tend to be more silvery and thicker,” says Dr. Prystowsky.

This common condition causes skin cells to rapidly build up on the skin surface, forming the classic red patches and scales that itch.

Psoriasis is a chronic condition that, for many sufferers, often comes and goes. The main goal of treatment is to slow down the growth of the skin cells.

What to Do

Dr. Prystowsky explains, “While neither eczema or psoriasis have cures, they can be managed. The most important solution is to try and avoid any known irritants or allergens that could provoke an outbreak. Other less common conditions can also cause itchy elbow bumps.”

And don’t scratch those bumps! This will only make the skin of your elbows worse.

If you are suffering from itchy bumps on your elbows or anywhere else, see a dermatologist.

There are medications for eczema and psoriasis, and your doctor will determine which will likely work best for your case, and hopefully provide some relief from the itchy bumps on your elbows.

Because scratching the bumps will make the situation worse, you may want to consider loosely wrapping your elbows in an Ace bandage to deter scratching.

In combination with her focus on early skin cancer detection and removal, Dr. Prystowsky provides a wide range of revitalizing and rejuvenating treatments.
Lorra Garrick has been covering medical, fitness and cybersecurity topics for many years, having written thousands of articles for print magazines and websites, including as a ghostwriter. She’s also a former ACE-certified personal trainer.  
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